Servant of a Centurion Healed (Journey 19)

Jesus has journeyed now through Capernaum and Galilee several times; however, after leaving the mountain, He decides to stop back at Capernaum. We read in the Bible in Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10.

Note: A “centurion” was a Roman officer commander of a hundred soldiers, similar to “captain” in our modern days.

As Jesus was back in Capernaum, a Roman centurion asks Jesus to heal one of his servants that was dying (of palsy and tormenting). Jesus agreed to heal him; however, the centurion was unsure to have Jesus at his house, for he operated in a system of authority where he simply gave commands and it was done.

Therefore, he did not want Jesus to feel like this officer was commanding him. However, Jesus carried the authority of God and needed to say only the word, and the servant would be healed.

Jesus even saw the Roman’s faith, which was more than the Jews were. He used this very incident to warn the Jews that many of them would be left out of God’s Kingdom; however, Gentiles from countries everywhere scattered would be included, because of their faith.

What can we learn from this?

Just as this centurion concerned himself with his servant’s wellbeing, we should concern ourselves for our children and helpers, especially if they are physically or spiritually sick. We should be bringing them to Christ by faith and prayer, and observe the Lord’s Grace over them as He helps them.

Note the way that the centurion pleads to Christ, as if he is serving Christ as his Master, to which, we should be the same way in pleading unto God is that He is our Master. Many people will attempt to command the Lord to do this and to do that, as if we’re masters of Him; however, this is not the case, for He is our Master!

We do what He says to do. If we want to command healing over someone, we do it by the direction of the Master, not the direction of us. It comes down vertically from above, not from below to above. We may send our prayers up there, but they better be humble as to God’s Will, and not to our own wills.

We may all wish for total success, empowerment, total health, etc.; however, God knows what is best for us more than what we do. In the centurion’s case, he was searching for the healer and found Him, to which, the Word healed his servant!

The master of this servant obtained approval of his faith, and therefore, helped his servant become healed by the Great Healer. The healing of our bodies and souls is evidence of our faith in Jesus Christ, in that, no matter what we do; Christ will always be there for us!

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Journey 18)

We conclude Journey 18 with the grand Sermon on the Mount. Jesus has important teachings to relay to us, and it is ever so important in this contemporary culture to hear what He had/has to say to us.

Please feel free to refer back to our sample lesson from the Sermon on the Mount, which has amazing information that should prove beneficial to your life.

We read in Matthew 5-7; Luke 6:17-49, where Jesus has journeyed from the shore of the Sea of Galilee to “The Mountain,” about 5 miles.

The Sermon on the Mount is the great sermon preached by Jesus the Messiah. It opens with a series of two-line statements, the Beatitudes. He first announces the true happiness of those who live according to the life of the Kingdom of God.

For example, those who humble accept they need God’s help in everything will enjoy His Kingdom, for it was made for such people. In that Kingdom, there is no room for those that act proud and self-sufficient.

Those who are sorrowful for the sin in the world will have their sorrow turned into joy when they see that sin is finally destroyed, for God will remove the pride from the earth and give the earth as a dwelling place to the truly humble.

The people that will be fully satisfied are not such with selfish pursuits, but those who long for the Will of God to be done in the world around them.

In realization of the glory of God in His Great Mercy for them, people will naturally become more merciful to others and receive, in return, yet more mercy from God.

If people act with a pure heart and try to please God instead of themselves, they will be rewarded with a vision of God Himself.

God’s Children reflect the true character of the Father when they have helped friends. They prove to be worthy citizens of the Kingdom of God when they stand against wrongdoing, even if they suffer because of it. When persecuted, they rejoice, because they know they are united with God’s true people of the former days.

Now, compared to those who put God’s Will first, some people try to just make life better for themselves and may have much success becoming wealthy, building a comfortable life, investing in popularity, etc. only to have all the success they will ever have.

The future brings for such people disappointment, sorrow, and eternal loss. We depend upon God’s Will, because we know that He has an eternal reward for us. Despite the trials and tribulations faced, we can be happy to know His Blessings for us are true and come from Him directly unto us.

People who just find fault in others only invite their own judgment upon themselves, from their equals and from God. People who only find fault in others invite attention to themselves, as they too have faults that they may be unaware of, even if others see them clearly.

Those that present the Gospel must be able to know what is different between those that are sincerely interested in knowing about God and those people who only tend to mock and abuse. A person does not give good meat to filthy dogs, or pearls to pigs.

The followers of Jesus must learn to make the right judgments when helping others, and as teachers, they are examples and God will reward them based on the example given—good or bad. Teachers must remember that they cannot lead the blind if they are blind, and must not lead others astray in faultfinding.

Jesus continues on talking next about the two ways of life.

One is the easy way of pleasing oneself, which most people choose that leads to destruction; and the other is the narrow way of denying self for Jesus’ sake that leads to life!

Many do not follow the narrow way, because they are deceived by those who teach their own views or philosophies on the meaning of life. Their teaching might be reasonable; however, in the end, it is destructive. Such teachers appear to be harmless as sheep are, but are actually quite dangerous like wolves are.

Bad trees produce bad fruit; therefore, wrong teaching produces wrong behavior.

Another reason why people will not follow the narrow path is through self-deceit that they think that they can attach themselves to Jesus’ followers to enter Jesus’ Kingdom. They might even preach in Jesus’ Name; however, with no experience of God through repentant faith, they will also be led to destruction.

Nevertheless, if people hear God’s teaching, but do not act upon it, they only deceive themselves into destruction. They are compared to the person who builds a house that appears to be solid, but does not have a foundation; therefore, it is destroyed when the storm of testing should come.

The difference seen between Jesus’ teachings and the Scribes’ teachings is vast. The Scribes would be the respected teachers for good authority; however, Jesus spoke of His own authority. The Scribes could only repeat regulations of Judaism, but Jesus interpreted the Law with authority that came from God!

Some other notes:

When people enter Jesus’ Kingdom, they enter New Life, to which, they come under the rule of Jesus. Therefore, as His Disciples, they listen to His Teachings and practice them, with no worry of a governing of their behavior.

The Character of Jesus is what needs to be reproduced in people’s lives, to which, we see a set of teachings here that deal with attitudes, behaviors, and responsibilities of those who have come under His Rulership!

The Twelve Disciples are Chosen (Journey 18)

Part 1: Jesus prays, and the Twelve Disciples are chosen

We begin in Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16, and Jesus journeyed from Capernaum around the shore of the Sea of Galilee to “The Mountain,” about 5 miles.

It was expedient that the Lord Jesus appoint helpers immediately (as He was in prayer for many hours overnight), twelve of them that is, to which, they would be commissioned to heal diseases and cast out devils.

They were known as “Apostles,” ones whom are sent out. He would continue to train them further until His Appointed Time had come (for His death and Resurrection of course), and then they would need to continue the work. This was all similar to the Twelve Tribes that formed the basis of the People of God.

The ones whom were called were Simon Peter (or Cephas), Andrew the brother of Peter, James the son of Zebedee, John the brother of James, Philip, Bartholomew (or Nathanael), Thomas the Twin (Didymus), Matthew (or Levi), James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus (or Lebbaeus, or Judas the son of James), Simon the Zealot (or the Patriot, or the Canaanite, or the Cananaean), and Judas Iscariot (or the traitor, the betrayer, or the one who betrays).

What can we learn from this?

When the Lord calls us to do something, we should do it to our best ability, with excellence, as we are specially called from Him directly! No matter what the Lord calls us to do, we must do it best as we can, which means we should be continually attending to His Calling for us! Just as a doctor is on call all the time, this is similar to our calling from the Lord that we should be ready anytime for apt in ministry.

Jesus Heals Man’s Withered Hand and Increases Faith (Journey 17)

We cover the next two parts of journey 17 of Jesus Christ, where He journeys from From Jerusalem to Galilee, perhaps Capernaum (85 miles), and then to the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Part 2: Jesus Heals the Man’s Withered Hand

We read in Mark 3:1-6; Matthew 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11 – which Jesus makes many people marvel over the healing He came to provide.

If an animal fell into a pit on the Sabbath, the Jews would not hesitate to rescue it on the Sabbath; and yet, they accuse Jesus of healing someone on the Sabbath. No rules for the Sabbath have been listed for a person to keep the Sabbath holy; therefore, it is always right to do good things for people on the Sabbath, for it brings honor to God.

Saving life is much better than killing, and therefore, in this case, Jesus was helping to save a man’s life by helping with his withered hand. The Pharisees, however, couldn’t care less about “His Works,” and therefore, looked for ways to kill Him. Jesus left, though, to continue on His Work elsewhere.

This man’s hand that was restored is similar to what we saw in 1 Kings 13:6, where the king’s hand was restored by the “man of God.”

What can we learn from this?

Help those that cannot help themselves, as Jesus did for the man with the withered hand, especially when their circumstances are out of their control (just as the man with the withered hand, and the king with the withered hand). Let those with a hard heart come to Christ as He looks at the root of bitterness and can help remove the trouble for healing to flood in.

Part 3: Jesus Heals Great Multitudes by the Sea of Galilee

We are seeing Jesus at Galilee again doing phenomenal work in healing and increasing people’s faith. We read about this in Mark 3:7-12; Matthew 12:15-21.

Jesus quickly withdraws to work elsewhere, to which, this is further fulfillment of the Prophecy that Jesus would take the Gospel to all people. He never tried to be great, as He never hurt those who sorrowed, neither did He turn away those who had weak faith (even the weakest faith He didn’t turn away).

=> He knew it would increase what weak faith people had if He did things that would only increase it! He continued to heal people of so many infirmities and unclean spirits.

What can we learn from this?

Christ received people so often, and we need to receive people similarly by laying aside anger and debating, so that they may be encouraged and receive gracious kindness. If we are unable to show people encouragement or gracious kindness, we should ask for it from the Lord so that we may take after His Example.

What can we look forward to in Journey 18?

The Twelve Disciples are chosen. Don’t miss it!

Disciples Plucking Grain on the Sabbath (Journey 17)

Journey 17, Part 1: Plucking Grain on the Sabbath

This is a 3 part journey; however, only part 1 is covered today. We are in Mark 2:23-28; Matthew 12:1-8; Luke 6:1-5, and Jesus is journeying from Jerusalem to Galilee, next perhaps Capernaum (85 miles), and then to the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

The Disciples eat grain while going through a field with Jesus on the Sabbath. The Pharisees see it and object. Jesus answers their objections. Do note: The things Jesus says and the things I summarize in each point here are not to necessarily negate the Sabbath, but actually make it better!

The Pharisees had criticized Jesus’ Disciples for plucking corn on the Sabbath, to which, Jesus defended them by referring to the two examples in the Old Testament. First, David and his men were very hungry and needed food expediently.

Now, they were rightly allowed to eat the holy bread of the Tabernacle, which only Priests were allowed to eat (as we see in 1 Samuel 21:1-6). Second, even the Levitical Priests worked on the Sabbath, for they had to prepare and offer sacrifices (Numbers 28:9-10).

Both examples had shown the Pharisees that in case of a necessity, the legal requirement of a specific law might be overruled, because of the following:

  • Life is more important than ritual.
  • Mercy is more important than sacrifice.
  • Jesus is more important than the Temple.
  • People are more important than the Sabbath
  • The Sabbath was given as a benefit, not for discomfort.

Therefore, since Jesus is the Messiah, He has all authority to decide how the Sabbath is best used.

What can we learn from this?

The Sabbath is sacred and Divine in origin, yes, to which, it is not to be used for labor. God never wanted the Sabbath to be a burden, but He wanted rest. The Sabbath was instituted for the good of humanity, so in living in a society of so much troubles and busyness, one may have a day to dedicate in service to God.

The rules and regulations given were not strict, but were as guidelines for what a Sabbath should be like. One should never neglect to appreciate at least one day of rest a week, especially dedicating it to service unto God, for this would be a chance to recuperate and recharge. Man’s keeping of the Sabbath is not a service to God, but a service unto God!

People could have many Sabbath Days a week, where they rest and dedicate service unto God; however, the point is in Jesus’ message here, is that needs can be met on a Sabbath Day, because they are of necessity.

The Sabbath was not a day to bring dread upon a person, but a day to enjoy and be happy of the life God gives us; a day of freedom, hope, recharging, relaxing, etc.

=> What we do on the Sabbath is up to us, not some law or code. The Sabbath was established before the Law, just as sowing and reaping was, and therefore, it will continue to be a Divinely inspired operation on Earth!